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We have a PMO of three project managers.

Is there a book, a course, a blog or anything like that on the topic of managing project managers?

I tried Quora earlier, and the main line of the answers was "Project managers should manage themselves". That's true, yet I guess we can help them.

For example, double checking projects' quality standards, incoming and outgoing payment schedule, checking that all the documents are in the place, etc.

For now, we will go on with building our own practices, but is there a guide or a list of best practices?

  • Hello Tob. The initial reasons were to supervise the processes, to help avoid mistakes and correcting them if they did happen. And not the least reason is to provide guidance on the topics of project management in order to create and develop an efficient team. – Ilya Chernov Apr 9 '17 at 8:24
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Do you want to manage the people or the process?

If you want to manage the people, then The Effective Manager, by Mark Horstman is my recommendation. He also has a free podcast series with the same content at ManagerTools.com. Project Managers are no different than any other knowledge workers.

If you want to manage the process, you have to decide what kind of PMO you have first. Governance, Pool of PMs to loan out, something else.

Responding to the comments: If your PMO is a pool of PMs then the key is to focus on the basic blocking and tackling skills. There is no one process that is going to work with every part of a company, no matter how a company culture may want to try. In a lot of ways you're a group of internal consultants. An article I wrote on Agile Coaching might be of some use for inspiration.

The core concept is to focus on your core skills and how you engage with your new project.

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  • 1. Hello Joel, thank you for the reference to the book and podcasts (wow, there are hundreds of them). 2. The PMO I'm building is more like pool of PMs to loan out, bcs we have different clients with different projects. Some of them are one time deal, with other clients we work constantly (on different projects or enhancing one or two websites for them). So I'd be glad to know how to improve processes for that type of PMO. Thank you! – Ilya Chernov Apr 2 '17 at 10:17
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Well, to what I understand from your question is that, as a PMO you would want to mentor the project managers. Is that correct?

The general practice is that the project managers should be managed by the Program managers. The program managers should be managed by the Portfolio managers.

The PMO is a strategic unit having dotted line structure reporting to Quality / Program Portfolio Management Office (PPMO).

The PMO is an evolving body that could help at all the layers of the organization suchlike HR, Sales, Administration, Finance, Delivery, etc . For example the office can question and can find the answers for the challenges the business is facing.

To answer your question:

  • To check on the quality standards: you will need to initiate Project Quality Assurance (PQA) task force - a subset of Software Quality Assurance Team (SQA). This is actually a big story. But to cut short, this team ensures that your project quality and your organization quality is maintained. The PQA need not be a FTE, can be assigned to your existing team members on rotation basis which will have multi-fold benefits.

  • AP & AR schedule - There should be a tight integration between the PMO Analyst, the accounts team, the sales team and the delivery team. As the delivery team completes the milestones and receives approval from the client, the PMO analyst would mark it complete for invoicing, the accounts team triggers the invoice(s) and submits to the Client for the processing. The sales team follows-up for the closure. I am sure by now you understand why the PMO is considered vital.

Please do not overload your Project Managers, they have better things to do like communicating with stakeholders, estimation, publish reports, managing the deliverables, analyzing risks, identifying and allocating resources and much more.

I can keep writing at length on the PMO aspects and the good practices, as I have implemented full fledged PPMO (end-to-end) but limiting to your context.

If I lay hands on any books on the PMO subject, I will update here.

Should you have any questions on the PMO, please feel free to shoot.

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  • Hello Dev. Thank you for the in-depth explanation of the answer. >as a PMO you would want to mentor the project managers. Is that correct? Yes, that is correct. >PMO Analyst What does PMO Analyst do? I can assume that he or she performs analytics on the projects :) But I'd like to know your opinion. – Ilya Chernov Apr 9 '17 at 8:21
  • Greetings Ilya: Thank you for your reply. > The PMO Analyst Shadows inbound sales person for every PM. Further, [s|h]e would analyze the forecast pipeline to ensure zero bench (resource utilization), invoicing / billing (includes time sheet validation for T&M, Percentage of Complete for FP, etc.) is triggered monthly and sent to Finance. Later, along with PQA/SQA, the data can be analyzed for continuous improvement. Let me know if this makes sense. – Devasuran Apr 17 '17 at 6:01

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